The five-minute version: Rediscovering Holodynamic Living
Five-Minute Version: This essay could be described in terms of its inquiry into how the world is divided by four fundamentally different world views. The four major worldviews can be crudely approximated as follows;
1. Outside-inward source of organization:
The world is seen as a collection of ‘things-in-themselves’. Where multiple material ‘things-in-themselves’ manifest organized behaviour so that the many behave as one, as in the cells and organs of an ‘organism’, and as in the celestial dynamic; e.g. the spiralling star collectives or ‘galaxies’, the organization-sustaining force is seen as coming from beyond the material reality [from beyond the collection of material things-in-themselves]; e.g. from an other-world good spirit force or ‘God’. The laws of behaviour that sustain organization; i.e. the laws of the spirit-force realm, have been ‘revealed’ to the material realm occupants as a ‘moral code’. In this worldview, the ‘things-in-themselves’ of the material realm can also be influenced by evil-spirit force that disrupts organization [disrupts the sustained balance and harmony = organization]. In this worldview, ‘matter’ forms from ‘mind’ [the mind of God]; an ‘idealist’ view.
2. Inside-outward source of organization:
Once again, the world is seen as a collection of ‘things-in-themselves’ but this time the animating source of organization is shifted to the interior of the organization, whether to a ‘black hole’ in the case of the spiralling organization of a galaxy, or to a ‘regulatory centre’ or ‘neuro-centre’ in the human organism whose basic biophysical and biochemical dynamics are invisible to the unaided eye. The outside-inward directing other-world spirit force is no longer needed as a concept to explain sustained organization and the authoring source of the organization shifts to an inside-outward orientation . The laws that govern the behaviour of individual things-in-themselves are in this case developed inside-outwardly from the neuro-centre supported process of intellection which develops knowledge and purpose and formulates its own organizational-sustaining laws governing the behaviour of the independently existing things-in-themselves. That is, the ‘inside-outward’ acting, behaviour-authoring ‘mind’ is the new spirit-force which is now part of the material reality. In this worldview, ‘mind’ forms from ‘matter’ [the matter of man]. In this worldview, ‘mind’ forms from ‘matter’; a ‘materialist’ view.
3. Psychical source of organization:
Once again, the world is seen as a collection of ‘things-in-themselves’ but this time the ‘mind’ is seen as the source of what we have been calling ‘the material world’ so that ‘reality of the psyche’ is the new ‘starting point’ [C.G. Jung] and topsides the prior two notions wherein as in (2.) the ‘material reality’ is seen as the ‘starting point’ that gives rise to ‘mind’ which delivers ideas about the world, and (1.) the ‘material reality’ is formed and governed by a divine ‘mind’. That is, the ‘reality of the psyche’ now ‘owns’ the previous two concepts of reality and the ‘material reality’ that was previously held to ‘exist’ as a thing-in-itself is now demoted to a conceptual scheme within the ‘reality of the psyche’. Since (1.) is the religious view and (2.) is the scientific view, (3.) the ‘psyche-as-reality’ view is like playing a trump that sets up a higher level within which the religious world view and the scientific worldview which used to be separate mountain peaks are reduced to foothills in the shadow of a new peak. In this view, the material aspect and the spiritual aspect are children of the psyche.
[There is a problem here also, in that if the psyche authors and thus precedes the notion of the thing-in-itself that it associates with, it has not yet created the concept of a ‘thing-in-itself’ though it, itself, is dependent upon this concept. [does mind beget matter or does matter beget mind or does psyche beget mind and matter, and if so, how can psyche be dependent on the thing-in-itself that it is about to beget, even before it begets it?]
4. Relational source of organization:
Not this time! The world is NOT seen, in this case, as a collection of ‘things-in-themselves’, and there is no sense of one thing begetting another and the chicken-and-egg dilemmas that result. The world is seen as a continually transforming, many-dimpled relational space. The dimples are what were bestowed with ‘being’ to make them over into ‘things-in-themselves’ in worldview’s (1.), (2.) and (3.).
In the previous three worldviews, all of which saw the world as a collection of things-in-themselves, the first one (1.) put the IDEA of the [Divine] mind or ‘soul’ as the primary author of the form, development and behaviour of the thing-in-itself. the second one (2.) put matter as the primary author of the mind, form, development and behaviour of the thing-in-itself. the third one (3.) trumped the first two by claiming that everything comes through the psyche so that the psyche was the author of both ‘mind’ (1.) and ‘matter’ (2.)
In this fourth worldview (4.), every ‘thing’ that appears to be local, visible, material [from atoms and molecules through cells and organs to organism and community and beyond] is understood as a resonance-feature in the continually transforming relational space or ‘energy-flow’. ‘Things’ are thus purely relational as in a holodynamic. There is nothing that is ‘local’ other than visual and tactile forms which seem to infer ‘local entities’ as in the case of the hurricane or tornado, which are, in their overall essence, non-local, non-visible, and non-material [they are relational forms].
In order to come up with the concept of a ‘thing-in-itself’ we had to ignore its inclusion in the energy-flow; i.e. as david bohm says;
“… what we call empty space contains an immense background of energy, and that matter as we know it is a small, ‘quantized’ wavelike excitation on top of this background, rather like a tiny ripple on a vast sea. In current physical theories, one avoids the explicit consideration of this background by calculating only the difference between the energy of empty space and that of space with matter in it. This difference is all that counts in the determination of the general properties of matter as they are presently accessible to observation. However, further developments in physics may make it possible to probe the above-described background in a more direct way. Moreover, even at present, this vast sea of energy may play a key part in the understanding of the cosmos as a whole. In this connection it may be said that space, which has so much energy, is full rather than empty…It is being suggested here, then, that what we perceive through the senses as empty space is actually the plenum, which is the ground for the existence of everything, including ourselves. The things that appear to our senses are derivative forms and their true meaning can be seen only when we consider the plenum, in which they are generated and sustained, and into which they must ultimately vanish.” — David Bohm
In Machean physics terms: “the dynamics of the plenum are conditioning the dynamics of the dimples at the same time as the dynamics of the dimples are conditioning the dynamics of the plenum.
In aboriginal ‘physics’ terms, there is this same conjugate habitat [plenum] – inhabitant [dimple] relation; “You must teach the children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. … This we know, the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”— “Chief Seattle”
This fourth worldview (4.) suspends imposing the abstract/absolute concept of ‘thing-in-itself’ as the starting point. There is therefore no assumption that behaviour is sourced either (1,) through the ‘thing-in-itself’ by outside-inward spirit force; (2.) from the interior of the ‘thing-in-itself’ by inside-outward material force; (3.) from a ‘psyche’ which has a one-to-one mapping with the local, visible, material ‘thing-in-itself’. Instead, the source of behaviour is always from the ‘plenum’ and it is the plenum of nature that, as Emerson says in ‘The Method of Nature’, not only inhabits the dimple but creates it [gathers it, organizes it].
In the aboriginal justice system, then, in order to understand the behaviour of the individual-as-dimple-in-the-plenum, one must understand the behaviour of the plenum and so the ‘problem’ is never understood in the simple visible terms of ‘offender’ – ‘victim’ but is instead seen as an emergent ‘conflict’ within the relational space of the plenum [a dissonance in the web-of-life] that can’t be isolated from the dynamics of prior generations, so that the aim of aboriginal justice is to restore, cultivate and sustain balance and harmony in the plenum [the dynamics of habitat which are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants at the same time as the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants].
Thus, if a man goes on the rampage and massacres his co-workers or fellow students or etc., in (1.) he has broken God’s laws, and in (2.) his endorphins are out of balance and his intellect is failing to manage his emotions, and in (3.) his psyche is troubled; i.e. in (1.), (2.) and (3.) there is no question that ‘he has done it’, there is only the question ‘why did he do it?’ and ‘how should he be punished?’
In (4.) the notion that ‘he has done it’ is superficial in that it corresponds to the visually observable aspect or ‘schaumkommen’ (‘appearances’) which has us conceiving of ‘him’ as a ‘thing-in-himself’ who is the author of his own behaviours. The more complete view accounted for in (4.) recognizes that the ‘thing-in-itself’ concept is a reduction of the ‘dimple in the flow’ to a ‘thing-in-itself’ based on ‘appearances’ and it holds to the ‘dimple-in-the-flow’ view wherein the dynamics of the multiple dimples in the common plenum are conditioning the plenum which is at the same time conditioning the dynamics of the dimples. The physical reality that the relational medium or ‘plenum’ is a mediating medium which is continually modulating the behaviour of the dimples means that it is impossible to isolate the authorship of an individual dimple. Visually, we can see that the child soldier picks up his AK-47 and slaughters people in his village, but this behaviour did not ‘jumpstart’ from his interior but derived from the web of relations he has been situationally included in.
In the fourth (4.) worldview, the notion that the child-soldier begot the result that 10 villagers are dead is ‘appearances’ that must not be confused for physical reality. The physical reality is that the plenum or ‘relational space’ or ‘web-of-relations’ is continually transforming and the dimples within it such as the child-soldier are agents of transformation that are both inhabited by and engendered by the plenum-dynamic aka ‘holodynamic’. The response to the murders is therefore to seek the restoring of balance and harmony in the continually transforming plenum or ‘relational space’ or ‘web-of-relations’.
The suggestion is that worldview (4.) avoids the dysfunction of worldviews (1.), (2.) and (3.) that arise from building understanding dependently on the notion of ‘things-in-themselves’ and confusing ‘what things-in-themselves do’, which are superficial appearances, for ‘reality’. The dysfunction will be there so long as we respond to ‘what things-in-themselves do’ as if this were ‘real’ rather than ‘appearances’. The dysfunction may be moderated in one case or another depending on whether we believe the source of ‘what things-in-themselves do’ is (1.) other-world spirit sourced, (2.) material process [biophysics/biochemistry] sourced, (3.) psyche-sourced [psychologically sourced], however, the dysfunction associated with confusing ‘appearances’ for ‘reality’ and responding/acting on this basis transpires in all of these three worldviews, though not in the fourth (4.).
One may assume that the Jungian psychologist would attend to the troubled psyche of the child-soldier and to the troubled psyche of the families of the dead etc., but what about attending to the popular worldview that accepts as ‘reality’ that ‘the child killed the villagers’ rather than the community that is raising the child? Machean physics claims that the latter view is physical reality while the former view is ‘appearances’.
Any response that inquires into why the offender did what he did [e.g. his ‘psychological condition’] is a source of dysfunction since ‘he did not do it’; i.e. he is only the apparent source of the action and should not be represented as the source as in inquiries into ‘why he did it’. The real source is the relational dynamic which not only inhabits him but which is engendering him [sustaining his resonance-based form/essence].
Apart from presenting this view of the source of dysfunction in our society, the role of psychology in further blurring what is going on, and the need to rediscover ‘holodynamic living’, the essay goes on to explore how we come to mistakenly see ‘figure’ and ‘ground’ as two separate things, which leads to the notion of ‘things-in-themselves’ which is the starting point for the dysfunction infusing world views (1.), (2.) and (3.).
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